De'Aaron Fox says Lonzo Ball has a 'target on his back' from NBA players

By Alex Butler  |  June 19, 2017 at 6:18 PM
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June 19 (UPI) -- Former UCLA star Lonzo Ball is still projected as the Los Angeles Lakers' first round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, but don't expect veterans to take it easy on the rookie.

Fellow projected lottery pick De'Aaron Fox said he has "heard" that Ball has a "target on his back."

"I heard it," Fox told ESPN Monday. "At the end the of the day, you are still going to play basketball. Point guard is the toughest position. You don't even have to have a target on your back to have a tough night at the point guard position. Just going on, I feel like it is. But I could be wrong. I've never played a game in the NBA. I don't really know. Playing point guard is going to be tough anyway."

Fox told ESPN that former Kentucky Wildcats point guard and Washington Wizards star John Wall told him about Ball's reputation among NBA players.

"He's a quiet kid," said Fox, who led the Wildcats to a Sweet 16 win against Ball's Bruins. "I've known him for years like I said. I didn't know his dad until our senior year of high school. He does things his own way. Lets put it that way."

Wall talked to TMZ Sports in February about Lonzo and his infamous dad LaVar Ball.

"I feel like he's putting a lot of pressure on his kid," Wall said of LaVar. "You know definitely, when rookies come into the league, a lot of people are trying to leave a statement, like let them know how the league is...Especially if they are going to be going up against them for the next couple of years. He just added fuel to the fire to when he probably plays Stephen Curry, or plays any other point guard after he gets drafted."

Wall was commenting on LaVar's claim that his son was better than the Golden State Warriors' sharpshooter.

Fox scored a game-high 39 points against Ball's 10 points in their Sweet 16 matchup.

"In the last year, he became relevant for some reason," Fox told Sports Illustrated last week.. "When I knew Lonzo in high school, I'd never seen his dad before. He went crazy this year. I guess when your son a lottery pick, that gives you a lot of confidence."

Sports Illustrated reported that part of Fox's motivation for beating UCLA was to "shut LaVar up."

Lakers president Magic Johnson has also said Ball will "probably" enter the league with a "target on his back," according to the Washington Post.

The 2017 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday.

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